Weekly Starch Rhythm?
I’m a mother of four young children. The oldest just started first grade, and the youngest only recently made her debut into the world. So in order for me to make nutrient-dense plant-based meals every day, I have to have something that gives me a head start!
I’m not into having the same thing every Monday (and neither is the husband). In fact, trying new recipes is a necessary creative outlet for me at this stage of life. But there are millions of new recipes out there, so I need something to at least narrow down my search. And so I came up with the Weekly Starch Rhythm! The Weekly Starch Rhythm allows me to rely on family favorites on particularly busy days, or try something new when my day (and emotions!) allow.
Here’s how it works: Each day of the week is assigned a different starch base. Friday and Sunday are a bit different, because Fridays are Family Nights, which means Popcorn and Smoothies for us! And Sundays are Soup Night because for some reason soup is the perfect way to wrap up one week and transition into another. It’s comforting and nourishing and easy. But really, Popcorn is a starch, and soups can have any number of starches in them. So with all that in mind, right now our Weekly Starch Rhythm looks like this:
Monday- Brown Rice (if possible, soaked for up to 24 hours)
Tuesday- Root vegetables (white potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, carrots…)
Wednesday- Brown Rice Pasta (with homemade, vegetable-and-herb-packed sauce)
Thursday- Quinoa (if possible, soaked for up to 24 hours)
Friday- Popcorn (sprinkled with herbs, spices, nutritional yeast–all filled with micronutrients; served with a killer (or life-saving?) smoothie
Saturday- Pizza (with whole grain, gluten free crust)–make the crust a base (read: excuse) to pile high nutrient dense food!
Sunday- Soup (the perfect combination of comfort and health!)
I say “right now” because I change it around every few months or so. I need rhythm, but I’m also a girl who needs change. Rhythm but not rut. That’s my motto.
With this backbone, I have enough of a platform to keep me from a brain freeze (not the kind you get from smoothies!), and I find it stimulates the dinner ideas.
For example, it’s Monday. A rice night. I can do stir fry, curry, risotto, pilaf…. I can do Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Spanish…. It can be as simple or complex as I want. Root vegetable night can be as simple as roasted root vegetables or more time consuming like Shepherd’s Pie. A family favorite is mashed potato bowls. Pasta night is a favorite around here. We love to get creative with pasta, but I can also throw together a vegetable-dense marinara sauce in no time. I hope you are getting the picture! There’s a platform without feeling like you’re boxed in.
My goal is to organize the recipes I’ve collected according to their starch base to make it easier for me (and anyone who finds this to be a good method) to decide what will be on the menu that week. Which makes shopping a lot easier. I always make sure I’m stocked up on the starch staples, and then I can peruse to see what in-season produce is available, what is on sale, etc.
Hopefully this helps you understand the why behind my recipe organization, and maybe you will even create your own rendition of the Weekly Starch Rhythm!